LIVERPOOL – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned his side against complacency as they prepare to cross swords with Maribor in the Champions League on Wednesday, two weeks after pummelling the Slovenians 7-0.
Klopp delved into the history books to underline the lesson for the five-time European champions as they try to take a decisive step towards qualification from Group E.
In the 1954 World Cup the much-fancied Hungary, featuring Ferenc Puskas and Sandor Kocsis, beat the then West Germany team 8-3 in the group stages, only for the Germans to exact revenge in the final as they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
Such was the achievement it was made into a 2003 film: “The Miracle of Bern”. Liverpool have their own miracle — when they recovered from 3-0 down to win the Champions League final in 2005 — and Klopp is well aware that football can be unpredictable.
“I am from Germany so I know in 1954 we lost against Hungary in the group stage really clear then won the World Cup final,” he said.
“Nobody would have expected that. That s football. That is how I learned it pretty early in my life. It s always possible. It s all about our performance.
“We have to use the little advantage of being the home team, using the crowd, being spot on again. We did so well in Maribor at the end it looked like a big difference, but it was only because of our start. We have to do that again.”
Since that 7-0 hammering, Maribor have won their past two matches and are behind PrvaLiga leaders Olimpija Ljubljana only on goal difference, prompting Klopp to warn supporters not to turn up expecting another goal-laden procession.
“Fans are allowed to expect pretty much everything and I think it makes sense in life to expect things that make it easier to enjoy what you see,” he said.
“If you expect a high result from the first second and you are already nervous in the first minute then that would not be too smart.
“If anyone is expecting something like this (7-0) I cannot change that. If we win at the end 1-0 I am completely happy about it because it means we have three more points.”